Higher and higher…

There were big celebrations at NASA last week when the Mars Science Laboratory team announced to the world that, depsite having wheels which look like they’ve been clawed by a whole family of martian white apes,  their “Curiosity” rover had reached the base of Mt Sharp, the hill/mountain at the centre of Gale Crater.

Meanwhile, halfway around Mars, without fanfare, and largely forgotten/ignored by NASA, the Mars Exploration Rover “Opportunity” – having reached the base of Cape Tribulation months ago – has reached a frankly fabulous viewpoint on the upper slopes of Endeavour Crater’s ancient rim, and is sending back some of the most stunning images of her ten year mission to date.

Here’s one of them, looking back down the slopes towards the plains, far, far below…

e2

See that feature top right, like a pancake? That’s Cape York (I think), where Oppy was YEARS ago!!! Hard to believe that Oppy was once way down there, on the Meridiani Plains, looking UP at where she is now…

pano1barrow

And what’s her view like now..? Feast your eyes on this… you might want to sit down first, though…

2b

Oh, imagine that in colour! Well, I can show you *part* of it in colour, most of it in fact, but one section of the image can’t be “coloured in” yet because when the sequence of images was taken one of them suffered a data drop out, so the panorama is incomplete for the moment… Here’s the most complete part of it…

pano3b

That’s beautiful, isn’t it? Shame about that missing section, cos when it’s complete that’s going to be a killer view…!

pano8

So, there you go… while MSL gets cheered and high-fived for reaching the foot of its hill, more than a decade after landing on Mars Oppy is slowly but surely scaling hers, doing amazing science, seeing incredible sights. If I was her, I’d be sending this…

pano3b2

🙂

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One Response to Higher and higher…

  1. Birgit says:

    great, the last Picture….xxxxxxx

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